Never too little to help

Source: Serpentine Jarradale Examiner – Issue 1516 • June 30th 2022 – Page 3
Author: Chris Fowler

Photo credit: Richard Polden

A Year 3 student at Serpentine Primary proved you are “never too little to help,” last Thursday, after a hair cut in front of her entire school helped her raise more than $3000 for children with cancer.

Eight-year-old Emilia took to the stage at a special assembly, where hairdressers cut her golden locks, to be donated for use in wigs for people being treated for cancer.

Alongside the haircut, Emilia, with the help of her Mum, Cara, set up a fundraising page on Facebook, that has so far received 78 donations.

While Cara was proud of her daughter’s initiative, she never expected the bright-eyed humanitarian to raise so much in donations.

“I thought $500 would be lovely to donate – $3375 is just gob smacking,” Cara said. Emilia decided to make her fundraising drive after asking her mother about what happens to people’s hair when they receive treatment for cancer.

“She had seen a couple of friends suffering from cancer and asked me last year what happens to people that lose their hair from having cancer,” Cara said.

“I explained why and that they need to wear a wig and she decided then she would donate her hair.

“Our very close family friend is a childhood cancer survivor, so I thought what better way to support the Foundation that supports her, Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation.”

Emilia was also surprised by the success of her charity work, saying it made fer feel “very happy.”

Family friend Georgia Lowry was on hand to help out at Thursday’s assembly. “I was delighted to be invited to the assembly to be one of the hairdressers, I was most honoured to do that,” Ms Lowry said.

“She was pretty quiet, gorgeous little thing, she’s usually very, very outgoing, but as you would think, being centre of attention and chopping your long locks off, she was a bit nervous.

“She’s just a little legend, she’s an inspiration, to be fundraising and caring about people with cancer, she’s a little superstar,” Ms Lowry said.

Emilia, who enjoys dancing and netball and loves her new haircut, had a message for other youngsters who want to make a difference. “You are never too little to help.”



Georgia’s a rock star

Source: Serpentine Jarradale Examiner – Issue 1516 • June 30th 2022 – Pages 1 & 3
Author: Chris Fowler

A Mundijong resident and childhood cancer survivor had her dreams realised on Wednesday, when the Childhood Leukemia and Cancer Research Foundation (CLCRF) gifted her a brand-new truck, to combine her love of hose-riding with her role as foundation ambassador.

Georgia Lowry was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of infantile leukemia at just eight weeks old, suffering through a punishing regimen of radiotherapy to combat the disease’s terrifying two per cent rate of survival. At six months of age, Georgia became the youngest bone marrow transplant recipient for leukemia in Australia, thanks to a donation from her sister, Grace. Following years of treatment, including periods of remission and return and a second bone marrow transplant, Georgia recovered, although she still suffers from the after-effects of her radiation treatments.

Having recently celebrated her 28th birthday, Georgia has volunteered as anambassador for CLCRF since 2012, enthusiastically giving her time to promote the foundation through public speaking and school visits. Time and energy, however, is not the only thing Georgia has contributed to cancer research. To this day, researchers around the world use Georgia’s cell lines to get a better understanding of how to treat the disease.

“We’ve got a tissue bank that we’ve been running here in WA for about 42 years and Georgia’s cell-lines are the rock stars,” CLCRF General Manager Kylie Dalton said.
“We test different drug protocols and when a research project is looking for a particular cell line, they will request those cells.”

For reasons still unknown, Georgia’s cells can be grown in the laboratory far more successfully than most. “Georgia’s cells seem to be able to do that,” Ms Dalton said. “I wish I could answer that, I really do. We just know that Georgia is a rock star in her own right.
“She’s an incredible ambassador for us and she’s the example of why research matters.
“For her to get up every single day and do what she does is incredible, if you know the journey she has gone through. She is my superhero.”
“To be able to give back to her so she can live her best life is such a thrill.”

Ever enthusiastic, and quietly humble, Georgia said that being gifted the truck hasn’t hit home yet.
“It was such a surreal day, like it was a “I was so overwhelmed by seeing the truck for the first time, I was quite a mess.
“It’s a new life for me, I’m hon oured to be able to spread the word about such an amazing foundation, it’s a family, they are so supportive and so set on making cancer history.
“I’m just really privileged to be a part of it.”

Speaking of her ‘rock star’ cell lines, Georgia is quick to acknowledge the medical researchers who use them.
“Something good has come out of something bad,” Georgia said.
“They’re still working really hard; I think they have had a few breakthroughs but they’re still consistently testing on my cells and finding new ways to eliminate cancer.
“When I was a baby, it was the radiation that did the most harm to my body, and they’ve eliminated the amount of radiation needed, using that just as a last resort instead of straight away.
“It’s truly something, and like I said I’m privileged to be a part of it. I’m just honoured.”
“I’m definitely not the worst off, there are so many people worse off than me, and to head to schools and see a smile, or have a kid ask a question, that makes my day.
“That’s what I’m there for and that’s what I love to do.

Donate to the Georgia Lowry Project today!

Summer rhythms to rock Quarry

Post Newspapers: Page 64 – POST, February 19, 2022

The healing power of music will transport audiences when the Rhythms of Life concert takes to the stage at the Quarry Amphitheatre on Saturday March 12 in aid of the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (CLCRF). The Steve Hensby Band, a re-nowned nine-piece outfit, cover a selection of funk, soul, and pop classics, with a sprinkling of originals thrown into the mix. This force of nature features a healthy-sized horn section, and is very danceable. The Rose Parker Band will perform dreamy songs of passion, longing and celebration with a summery vibe from one of the West’s most beloved and original indie-folk maestros.

All proceeds from the Rhythms of Life concert support the brilliant work of the CLCRF, raising vital funds for research into childhood cancers. CLCRF also supports families as they negotiate the challenges of their child living with cancer. Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in Australian children, with close to 1000 children and adolescents (0-19) diagnosed every year. CLCRF receives no government funding, relying instead on community support – especially through events such as Rhythm of Life.

It’s been a tough couple of years for the CLCRF family, with COVID forcing the cancellation of its last two fundraising concerts.

Gates open at 6pm for a 6.30 start at the Quarry  Amphitheatre, City Beach. General admission is $55 per adult. Bring your picnic blankets or fold-up, low-back chairs or buy inflatable chairs and picnic blankets on site to support the foundation. Grab your tickets now from

Music for the Soul

The West Australian – Tuesday 15 February 2022

Commitment helps Finlay ring the bell

While this year was dominated by our unwelcome guest COVID, it wasn’t all bad, as Cathy O’Leary, Medical Forum explains.

For many West Australians, 2021 has been a year of uncertainty, missed family reunions, and anxiety about what the pandemic still has in store for us. But for the Higgs family, it was the year their youngest son Finlay got to ring a bell on a hospital cancer ward, marking his five-year remission from a rare cancer – stage 4 high-risk refractory and relapsed hepatoblastoma.

His survival was made possible by Perth doctors using the latest research and knowledge to tailor an unconventional treatment plan for Finlay, who ultimately faced a less than 10% chance of survival.

Back on the Australia Day long weekend in 2015, Finlay was a seemingly healthy 18-month-old when his parents, Katey and Darren, noticed that the right side of his stomach seemed distended.

He was initially taken to Joondalup Health Campus for an ultrasound, and then referred to Princess Margaret Hospital where his parents were given the news their son had a rare “one-in-a-million” liver cancer.

Not only did he have a large tumour growing in the right lobe of his liver, it had spread through his diaphragm and metastasised in multiple spots in both his lungs.

“It was a bit of a blur, you go into a bit of shock, and initially I couldn’t cope, and then a few days in you realise it’s really happening,” Mrs Higgs tells Medical Forum.

“And then, all of a sudden, I switched into gear and said, ‘give me all the information you’ve got’. You have to learn pretty quickly.

“Our primary oncologist was pretty upfront. She said it’s primary liver, it’s stage 4 high risk, it’s spread, and the prognosis is less than 30%.

“While they tend to drip-feed information so as not to overload you, we soon knew what we were facing, and hospital quickly became our home.”

Finlay began a gruelling 18-month journey of chemotherapy and surgery, including multiple liver and lung resections, with him initially responding to treatment before relapsing mid-2016.

By that time, he had already received 12 rounds of chemotherapy – above the protocol levels – so a surgeon who had already done several lung resections agreed to go in one last time, in the hope of removing the last of the cancer.

August this year marked five years since Finlay had that last surgery and was put on ‘watch and wait.’ He has been cancer-free ever since.

As per tradition, Finlay, now aged 8, was invited back to Perth
Children’s Hospital clinic 1H to “ring time” on his cancer.

“I couldn’t predict how I was going to feel when we got to that five year milestone, but it was very, very good,” Mrs Higgs says. “It was like a big ‘up yours’ to cancer – we  thought ‘go ahead and do it kiddo.’

“There’s lot of things ongoing but when his oncologist used the term ‘we’ve cured him’, it was unbelievable.”

Mrs Higgs says they were indebted to researchers who had paved the way for treatments to deal with Finlay’s rare disease, in particular the Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation and the Telethon Kids Institute.

“People can learn from his case and the protocols the doctors used. We owe so much to research, and it’s so good they’re doing such amazing work right here in WA.”

The Higgs, who have two older children, Harrison, 9, and Milla, 11, know that Finlay still faces health challenges caused by side effects of his treatment – including severe osteoporosis, hearing loss and developmental issues.

He will need to keep visiting PCH’s late effects “survivors” clinic for yearly check-ups.

“But we appreciate other families are not as lucky as us,” Mrs Higgs says. “The day Finlay rang his five-year bell, another little one we know was starting the whole journey again for the fourth time.

“There is a bit of survivor’s guilt, but we just feel so blessed that we got this gift, that Finlay beat the odds.”

Andrea Alexander, CEO of the Children’s Leukaemia and
Cancer Research Foundation, first met Finlay in 2016 soon
after he had been diagnosed with a cancer that is detected in
fewer than one in a million children worldwide.

Because of the isolating nature of his diagnosis, the foundation was determined to help Finlay realise his dream to go camping with his family, and launched the Friends of Finlay Campout as a fundraising event.

Andrea says she would be happily unemployed tomorrow if research discovered a cure for cancer.

“It’s unfortunate that many of us know of or love a child who has been diagnosed with cancer or leukaemia, and the number of Australian children impacted by these diseases is staggering,” she says.

“While we have witnessed survival rates improving throughout the foundation’s 40 year-plus existence, there is much work to do to improve this journey for children of the next generations,” Andrea says.

“There are still particular cancers such as brain tumours and
neuroblastoma with survival rates as low as 50%, and while research is being conducted, it needs more funding.

“Research is the only answer to finding a way for our children to live cancer-free. Increased funding equates to further research, resulting in better outcomes. It’s that simple.”

Meanwhile, the one thing Mrs Higgs is now struggling to get her head around is Finlay’s new-found passion for skateboarding.

“He’s already giving me a few grey hairs because of all the osteoporosis risks, even though he has all his safety gear,” she says. “We worry that he’s doing quite a high-risk sport, but after everything he’s been through, he’s got to live his life and
do what he wants to do.”

– Cathy O’Leary, Medical Forum

Containers for Change turns one

Friday, October 1, marked the first anniversary of the Containers for Change program, which allows people to exchange used drink containers for a ten-cent refund. Since its commencement last year, Western Australians have returned 765 million containers through 253 refund points across WA.

A key feature of the scheme has been the ability for people making container deposits to donate their refunds to community and charitable organisations of their choice. Western Australians have been generous with their refunds, with these organisations having received $2.5 million through the Containers for Change program.

In honour of the anniversary, CLCRF General Manager Kylie Dalton visited the Scouts WA Recycling Depot in Kenwick with Hon Matthew Swinbourn MLC, his wife Glenda and son Mitchell.

“Containers for Change have been a wonderful surprise for our Foundation,” said Kylie. “So many people in WA have really seen the benefits of recycling and support attaching that effort to charity.”

So far, CLCRF has raised approximately $1500 through Containers for Change. “Knowing the generosity of people in WA, we should see that total grow quite quickly,” said Kylie.

Please consider using our scheme ID: C10285275.

CLCRF ride with BJR

Source: Brad Jones Racing – Thurs, 15 October 2020

Brad Jones Racing is proud to support the Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation at the Bathurst 1000.

CLCRF is a Western Australia charity that is close to both team owners, Brad and Kim Jones, hearts. BJR will carry the charity’s emblem on the B-Pillar of Nick Percat & Thomas Randle’s Supercar to raise awareness for this extraordinary charity.


Riders pumped for 600km trek to aid cause

Source: Busselton Dunsborough Times – Mon, 5 October 2020 9:25AM
Author: Catherine MasseyBusselton Dunsborough Times

Determined bike riders are pumping up their tyres ahead of this month’s South West Bike Trek, a 600km journey between Perth and Augusta. The 15 riders will set off from South Perth Foreshore on October 11, with hopes of raising $40,000 for the Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation.

Trek co-ordinator and foundation member Eric Maddock has been involved in the event for the past 12 years after his great-niece was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of four. Mr Maddock said the treatment and support she received left him with an overwhelming sense of wanting to “pay it back”.

Australia has one of the highest occurrences of childhood cancer in the world, with 600 children diagnosed every year, and the trek has raised almost $700,000 for the foundation since its beginning 18 years ago. The trek is conducted at a leisurely pace, encouraging riders to work together to ensure each other’s wellbeing.

Foundation head Kylie Dalton said the foundation would have been heavily affected if the trek was cancelled this year.

“The trek is our biggest fundraising event each year. Having the community riders who get involved and do this type of ride, it means more than just the fundraising, it allows those riders to continue to share our stories along the way.”

Schools were encouraged to support the riders through gold-coin donation days, and event organisers have called on the public to “adopt a rider” to assist with fundraising efforts.

The nine-day trek will conclude in Augusta on October 17. To adopt a rider, visit

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